A Little Girl Who Lived

Shreya was too tiny at first to be seen by anyone’s eye. She joined our human family in this world of ours some time in March 2014.

Shreya’s mother, Karuna, realized one day that month that something had changed inside her body. What had happened was that little Shreya had started out on a journey of growth, a process of urgent and continual change, preparing for the day when she would be able to come out into the air, and would have a chance to touch from outside that woman who had surrounded her and nourished her for months.

Shreya at 3-1/2 months, in April 2015

But perils lay ahead. Abortion under some circumstances is legal in India prior to 20 weeks’ gestation, and there is little strictness about the circumstances. Even in the complete absence of such circumstances, abortion is not hard to arrange. There are 1500 abortions every day in West Bengal alone.

And meanwhile, Karuna’s husband had decided he no longer wanted anything to do with Karuna.

After their marriage, Karuna had gone to live with her husband’s family. But Karuna had never received kind treatment from the family. After becoming pregnant in the midst of an already-inhuman living situation, she had had some kind of breakdown and had entered a hospital. When she was ready to be released, her husband and his parents did not come to pick her up. They did not want her back.

She returned to her own parents. They could give her shelter, but they could not afford the financial burden of her expected child. Karuna was unemployed, her husband having been her sole source of support.

Meanwhile, Shreya continued growing with a biological kind of zeal, constantly exploring the little space in which she lived. She was not able to know that adults sometimes invade that space with all the latest and most ingenious instruments at their command, or what they do once they invade it. At about the 16-weeks point, in July 2014, Karuna came to a decision: she would get an abortion.

But just at that moment, a relative of Karuna’s came in touch with the Viswakamal Welfare Society. That relative explained the whole situation to the Viswakamal secretary. At first through the relative, and then in direct communications with Karuna, the secretary reminded Karuna of the value and uniqueness of her child’s life, and conveyed to her a message of hope, although at that point he could not promise any tangible help.

Karuna listened. She soon realized that she would never be able to pass a death sentence on her child, come what may.

She was now resolutely determined to give life to her daughter, but still her frightening financial position remained. Viswakamal members immediately became active. Soon they had found two sponsors, each of whom pledged to give Rs. 500 a month for however long might be necessary. It was not much, but it was just enough to make Karuna’s situation workable. And some time in December 2014, Shreya made her move, leaving the space inside of her mother and finding her mother’s arms.

And Karuna had found a purpose. She has an education, and expects as soon as Shreya has grown a little to find a decent job. And then she wants to help all the other Shreyas of the world, and make sure they get the chance that every person deserves.

Those who have worked in the pro-life cause in the US say that they often hear from rueful post-abortive women, “If just one person had supported me in any way, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Photo Exhibition on Bengali New Year’s

On the occasion of Bengali New Year’s Day, April 15, 2015, Viswakamal participated in a Bengali cultural function held in South Kolkata. Viswakamal members created a photo exhibition in the entranceway to the auditorium, where the photos were seen by all who attended. Here are two of the sixteen photos displayed, and a Viswakamal banner:

Many of those in attendance were happy to learn of the work of Viswakamal, and expressed solidarity with Viswakamal in its efforts to save the unborn children of West Bengal (1500 of whose brief lives are ended every day by abortion). Here one of the attendees (on the left) talks with Ujjwal Ghosh and Swagata Banerjee of Viswakamal:

And here a visiting family poses with Ujjwal Ghosh:

(Apologies for the quality of the event photos. For technical reasons we could not use our camera and had to use a mobile phone.)

Awareness Campaign Visits the Book Fair

On February 6 Viswakamal carried its unborn-child awareness campaign to the Kolkata Book Fair. A team of five Viswakamal members were joined by the head of a women’s-health NGO who was inspired by the theme of the campaign. (The two children of a Viswakamal couple who participated were also present.) The leaflets attracted a lot of attention, in spite of the messages of all kinds that compete for attention at an event like the book fair.

Saikat Ghosh and Hitangshu Bandopadhyaya leafletting at the Book Fair

Swagata Banerjee checks her remaining leaflets

More photos soon.

Leafletting began about 2 in the afternoon, and before evening the 2000 leaflets that had been printed were almost exhausted. Viswakamal had been unable to print more due to financial limitations. With your help, larger numbers of leaflets can be printed for upcoming events, including International Women’s Day on March 8. If you can help, please write for instructions to viswakamal.ws@gmail.com with the word “donation” in the subject line. To see the Bengali and English leaflets, click here.


You may leave a reply, if you wish, without leaving your name or email address. If you do leave your email address, it will not appear publicly.

Awareness Campaign in West Bengal

On December 27 an unborn-child awareness campaign of posters, banners and leaflets began in West Bengal. A Facebook page will soon be launched, and ads in newspapers and on the Kolkata Metro’s TV channel are being planned. There will be both Bengali and English versions of the posters, banners and leaflets.

Ujjwal Ghosh postering in Kolkata

Ujjwal Ghosh postering in Kolkata

One of the present English posters:

“Deep in our hearts, we all love the unborn.”

At the surface level of our thoughts, most people may not love the unborn, because “Out of sight, out of mind.” The unborn baby is hidden deep inside the mother, and even if we could see within, that baby necessarily starts out microscopically small. But the most striking thing about that first microscopic cell is that it is changing at every moment. At ten weeks the baby looks like this:

(This is a baby still in its amniotic sac. This particular baby was not aborted unnecessarily, but had to be removed from its mother because of her cancer.)

Deep inside, we all understand the meaning of that rapid change: we understand that even at the single-cell stage, the organism is nothing but a packet of biological urge — an urge to grow big, come out of its mother, learn to throw a ball, go to school and make friends. It is a person beginning its life in the only way possible to begin it — small. It is our little sister or brother, and it needs our protection.

At the surface level of our thoughts, most people have not yet sensed the significance of the unborn. But deep in our hearts, we already do. That inner love has to be awakened.

This is one of the Bengali posters:


You may leave a reply, if you wish, without leaving your name or email address. If you do leave your email address, it will not appear publicly.

Franchising Abortion in India?

According to the European pro-life movement One of Us, “Big Government, Big Porn, Big Pharma, and Big Money” are partnering to make abortion saleable in India. The article begins:

Think of franchises, and McDonald’s or Starbucks springs to mind. But how about franchising clinics that do abortions . . . ? The population control movement has thought of this too. In the developing world, so-called “reproductive health clinics” are spreading like fast food chains in America through a network of organizations that want abortion . . . readily available . . .

This deserves our investigation. For the full article, click here.


You may leave a reply, if you wish, without leaving your name or email address. If you do leave your email address, it will not appear publicly.